October is a liver cancer awareness month, so let’s figure out what does the situation look like today and what we could possibly do for fighting/prevention of liver cancer.
Liver cancer is today the only cancer with a growing mortality. According to the diagram we can see that a great progress has been made in treatments of other types of cancer. Definitely, this is the result of improvements in different areas such as development of more efficient medicines and diagnostic strategies, more safe and effective surgical procedures, better prevention strategies and so on. However, it looks like nothing works for treatments of just liver cancer – see recent info from American Cancer Society:
“Liver cancer death rates have generally been increasing since 1980; from 2003 to 2012, rates increased by 2.7% per year.”
“Risk factors: The most important risk factors for liver cancer in the US are chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, obesity, diabetes, tobacco smoking, and certain rare genetic disorders, such as hemochromatosis.”
Liver is an organ that is especially sensitive for toxins and xenobiotics, so I see definitely one major risk factor being stronly overlooked: the environment. An extensive use of pesticides and herbicides in manufacturing of crops, use of antibiotics in animal and fish breeding, and a severe overmedication of human population have to have a quite significant and chronic impact on the liver. Even [over]consumption of dietary supplements has its impact.
I would suggest that switch to eco-organic food and environmentally friendly technologies must be considered as the minimum required prophylaxis against liver cancer. And I know that I am not the only who has got this feeling.